[quote=Pax]In my experience most “anti-Catholics” seem to be quite tolerant of divergent views within Protestantism, but do not give Catholics the same courtesy. If anti-Catholics truly believe in sola scriptura and are willing to tolerate different views within non-Catholic circles, why aren’t they more sensitive and tolerant of Catholic views which are also biblically based? As Catholics we might also examine ourselves to see if we are displaying any “triumphalism” or unchristian behavior/example toward our non-Catholic counterparts.
Part of the apparent tolerance you speak of could be the influence of dispensational theology among North American Protestants. The ex-Anglican who started to, named Darby, had a saying, “When the plain sense makes sense, seeks no other sense.” Implicit in this saying was the assumption that each and every person could, authoritatively and correctly, interpret Holy Scripture. Without an authoritative source to interpret Holy Scripture, it is very hard to argue against another position.
Take the questionn of the rapture and the milennium. Some Protestants are what are called pre-tribulation, some post-tribulation, milennarians. Some suggest that it is inappropriate to interpret Revelations literally. That leaves two choices: divide, or label the issue a sort of in-house debate. But fission has been the history of the Protestant denominations for the most part.
But make no mistake. There is real rancour even within some Protestant denominations. Take the Lutherans. The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, recognizes one other Lutheran denomination in (I believe) Wisconsin, but will have nothing to do with – will not even pray with – other Lutherans. Right now, the Anglican Communion, which has boasted that it refrains from proclaiming doctrines, is on the verge of a massive split. And one part does not much like the other, at this point.
As for us, well, there seems to be a problem that “we won’t play.” Many Protestant’s first instinct is to argue from the stance of sola scripture. To a Catholic, discussing the faith that way is like trying to play a concerto on the piano using only one colour of key. The thing is, we will play, but not by those rules.
But you are right about triumphalism. The truth we have, the truth all Christians have, is a gift from a loving God, not something we can point to as if we had derived it on our own.